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Shipwreck in Nampula: EU Pledges Support for Mozambique After Tragedy Leaves 98 Dead

Shipwreck in Nampula: EU Pledges Support for Mozambique After Tragedy Leaves 98 Dead

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, pledged the support of the European Union (EU) to Mozambican President in the wake of the difficulties the country is going through , in particular the shipwreck that took place on Sunday 7 April in the northern province of Nampula.

“On behalf of the EU, I would like to convey my sincere condolences to the loved ones of the people who died and to the Mozambican people. We know that they are currently facing great hardships, including cholera outbreaks and floods. In difficult times like these, you can count on the European Union to continue helping Mozambican people, as it is a long-standing partner,” he said in a letter of condolence sent to President Filipe Nyusi.

In the document, released on Thursday (11) by the European Union embassy in Mozambique, Charles Michel said he was confident that the government and the people would find the strength to overcome this tragedy and continue their efforts to create a better future for all.

For his part, Mozambique’s ombudsman, Isaque Chande, called on the government to improve transport conditions in the country, by sea, in order to prevent situations like those seen last Sunday.

“We encourage the Ministry of Transport and Communications, through its channels, to step up inspections and adopt measures to improve the conditions in which our compatriots are transported by sea, in particular to avoid similar tragedies in the future,” he said.

On Wednesday (10), during his visit to the site of the accident, the head of state assured that the Executive is committed to preventing similar tragedies from happening again.

“We lost 98 people on that boat. We couldn’t prevent what happened, but we are and always will be with you. We promise to take measures and find ways to prevent similar cases from happening,” he emphasised.

The shipwreck killed 98 people, including 55 children, 34 women and nine men, with 16 survivors among the 130 or so people on board.

According to the Mozambican maritime authorities, the fishing boat was not authorised to carry passengers nor did it have the conditions to do so, and the people it was carrying were fleeing a cholera outbreak on the mainland, bound for Ilha de Moçambique, and the shipwreck happened around 100 metres from the coast.

The boat was leaving the administrative post of Lungo, in the district of Mossuril, bound for Nacala.

Following the tragedy, the Council of Ministers decided to declare national mourning for three days, from midnight on 10 April until midnight on 12 April, and also ordered the creation of a commission of enquiry to investigate the circumstances, causes and responsibilities in relation to what happened.

With regard to the misinformation about cholera that led to people fleeing the shipwreck, the government spokesman, Filimão Suaze, defended the “intensification” of campaigns to educate and sensitise communities about the causes and treatment of the disease.

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